Issue of minority tribes crops up in Ntlo ya Dikgosi
by Calistus Bosaletswe
Minority tribes have been encouraged to continue demanding their recognition in the constitution despite government's unwillingness to recognize them.
Members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi have added their voice to the amendment of the constitution for the inclusion of the minority tribes representation in their own right in the House of Chiefs.
North East South’s Kgosi Maruje Masunga noted after withdrawing his question sought an explanation as to why it took years for government to amend section 77, 78 and 79 as was recommended by the Balopi Commission.
Masunga pointed out that the minority tribes should not shy away from demanding what he termed theirs.
“They should demand their recognition,” he said. “It is all about demanding their respect. They should not shy away from demanding it because they are not done a favour.”
He explained that morally it is a challenge to see other people being recognized while others are not and pointed out that the issue has been in the public sphere for too long and should be given attention.
Masunga noted that as the country moved towards national building, there is a need to recognize minority tribes in the constitution and representation in the house of chiefs.
“I think it’s a concern that even those traditional leaders who are recognized in the constitution in the house also see that there is a problem that has to be addressed. How will people perceive us if the constitution recognizes others while other tribes are not recognized,” he said.
Kgosi Kea Lempadi of the Okavango noted that Botswana was the only country that was lagging behind in recognizing minority tribes. He lobbied for the constitutional amendment that would cater for the inclusion of everyone in the constitution.
“As long as the constitution remains as it is, the disparity will still exist. We should re-look the constitution to cater for others,” he said.
Lempadi is hoping that the government will rectify the problem as soon as possible.